Save the Date!!!! December 3, 2019 is GivingTuesday!!!
This GivingTuesday, we hope to leverage the power of our community to encourage people to donate to Good Samaritan Agency. As a supporter of Good Samaritan Agency we need your help. Consider making a donation on GivingTuesday. To donate, use the following URL to connect to the Facebook fundraising page!
Every dollar raised will support all the incredible services we offer. In addition, Facebook is contributing up to a $7 Million match to US nonprofits for GivingTuesday 2019. Starting 8:00am EST on December 3, 2019 the match will go live, matching dollar for dollar on a first come first serve basis until it hits $7 million matched so whatever you raise may be matched.
Also, while we encourage all of you to shop locally, if you are going to shop online this holiday season please consider shopping through Amazonsmile and naming our agency as your charity of choice! There is no additional cost to you and Amazon will donate .5% of each eligible purchase to the Good Samaritan Agency. To sign up, please copy and paste following link into your web browser;
Happy Holidays everyone!
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For the past six years, my family has had the pleasure of spending every day at The Good Samaritan Agency. We first came to the agency for child care when the original placement for our firstborn fell through. That stressful incident turned into one of the best things that ever happened to our family.. At GSA, we found a home.. The staff welcomed us; as nervous first time mom that had delayed giving in to full time child care as long as she could,, they eased all my fears and concerns. The GSA staff are attentive,, generous, personable, and knowledgable.. Now I have my third child in the center and I wasted no time introducing her to the GSA family full time! What I love about GSA, besides the comfort I have knowing my children are in a safe, loving facility all day,, is the bonus gifts this center has provided us.. The GSA staff have been there to support my children's first steps,, helped them learn to use the toilet,, helped teach them their letters, numbers, and colors; we've worked together to build a foundation of learning for my children.. More importantly,, they've guided their social and emotional learning.. My children have learned to share,, play in groups and independently, explore,, be creative,, make friends,, solve problems.. My children are more well rounded,, curious,, and engaging thanks to their time with the GSA family.. And what I've gained is an extended friendship network of my own.. The other parents at the center have become some of my closest friends.. Even though my eldest no longer attends GSA and all of her classmates are in separate elementary schools,, we still spend time with these families.. My children have friends from all over greater Bangor thanks to the network GSA provides.. The Good Samaritan Agency is a blessing to children,, families,, and parents.. I look forward to visiting this agency as my children grow to see the good work they will continue to create for our community. -Katie Brydon
My daughter Ruby attends Good Samaritan Agency's daycare program. Ruby started in the infant classroom when she was just 3 months old. I didn't want to go back to work. I wanted to stay home and teach Ruby everything I knew. However, from day one, the caring staff at Good Samaritan Agency made me feel sure she was safe and she would be well cared for. I quickly formed bonds with staff members and I feel so fortunate Ruby has an agency full of positive role models to learn from. Over the past year and a half, I have watched Ruby grow from a tiny little baby to a playful and confident little girl. Every day she surprises me with new words and skills she has learned, Ruby loves to talk about her friends and the staff at Good Sam and knows almost all of them by name. She comes home with artwork often and learns so much more from her teachers at Good Sam than I would every think to teach her. 1 attribute so much of her development to their loving and knowledgeable staff. They are patient with her and encourage her growth at her own pace. It is clear the staff at Good Sam has a great understanding of childhood development and that each child is going to progress at a different rate. The staff at Good Sam has become such a strong part of the village that is raising Ruby. They take pride in what they do and I feel so fortunate they are in our lives. -Hillary Dyer
When I first had children, I realized that childcare was not an option but a requirement for our family since both my husband and I work full-time. Good Samaritan is not only a place for us to take our children while we work, it is a place for my children to learn, succeed and excel at aspects of their life as well. For us, Good Samaritan has provided an environment where my children have learned social, emotional and communication skills as well as introductory reading and math skills. Additionally, the interactions my children have had with teachers and peers has allowed them to learn and grow from their peers and teachers. Good Samaritan has provided a structured environment which has allowed my children to learn and develop responsibilities as well as encouraging curiosity. Finally, Good Samaritan prepared (and is preparing!) my children for future schooling as they already understand the key aspects of the schooling environment from structured learning to interacting with peer in a respectful and socially acceptable manner.-Lindsay Hamilton
Good Evening and Congratulations! I can not tell you how thrilled I am to be here celebrating this very special accomplishment with you! I’d like to start by reading you a fitting quote from the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, by the great Dr. Seuss; “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are they guy who’ll decide where to go.”
I know how hard you’ve worked to get where you are tonight, and you should be so proud of yourselves! Your hard work and determination will not go unnoticed. I know, because we have walked in similar shoes for many years and over many miles. I’ve hit every frost heave and tried every detour until I finally found my route. My route is not that of my mother’s or father’s, not of my grandparents or aunts, uncles or cousins, and not of my siblings. It is my own path, a path that I forged to create a better life for my son and I. I can’t say that my life is perfect, or that I wake up feeling complete everyday, because I don’t. I am not “completely healed”, and am not sure that I will ever be. But I know I can overcome and achieve anything I put my mind and effort towards, and I know I wouldn’t be who I am, and my son wouldn’t be who he is, if I didn’t have to fight so hard for what I wanted. To break the cycle.
I often wonder, when retelling My Story, where I should start. Do I start by telling you about my underprivileged teenage mother and father? Or their early divorce? Their domestic violence? Or how my brother’s greatness constantly overshadowed all of my successes? Or do I start by telling you that I attended 14 schools in 13 years? Or about watching addictions take over my once beautiful mother. In the end I’ve decided that it doesn’t really matter where the story begins, but instead where it goes – because it leads to the same place… this place, my place. The one I worked for and created.
From the time I was born until I turned 18 I had moved around A LOT, attended many schools and haven’t lived with either of my parents since I was 12 years old. I dropped out of high school my senior year after coming to the realization that I wasn’t going to graduate that spring due to losing too many credits from poor attendance. A few months later I found myself uneducated and pregnant. My mom’s path – and so this is where MY journey begins.
The following September I entered The Good Samaritan Agency’s TPE program to complete my high school education. I remember one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Robi, allowing me to bring my son to chemistry each day while attending program because if I didn’t we were all distracted by his whaling cries from the daycare down the hall or there was even the chance that I would not go to class at all. But, I had finally found some support from the teachers and social workers there and they were pushing me forward, they showed me that they would support me and give me what I needed to find some success in my education.
As I came closer to graduation and thinking about what I wanted to do after high school I had to sign up and take my SATs, which I received a grant for. I’ll never forget walking into Bangor High School, 8 months pregnant, wearing my boyfriend’s oversized clothes because I couldn’t afford a single article of clothing that was maternity wear, to take this 3 ½ hour test – and I remember trying to fit my pregnant belly into one of those tiny desks with the chair attached. Then as I finally squeezed-in, not thinking about the analogies or vocabulary, math or writing that I was going to have to complete, but instead feeling all the eyes of the unknowing teenagers staring at me, judging me, disgusted by me or taking pity on me, or finding something in between. I wanted to disappear into thin air. Once I was squeezed into the desk, one of my three sharpened pencils rolled onto the floor. I just looked at it and sighed, wishing I wouldn’t have to attempt to bend over to grab it, hoping “they” wouldn’t all still be staring at me when I did. Then, the young boy next to me eased over his desk, grabbed the pencil and handed it to me, along with a look of pity. I’ll never forget that look, for as long as I live, it will sit in the back of my mind reminding me that without hard work and perseverance I might be pitiful and I might not give my child a life different from my own.
That following spring I graduated from The Good Samaritan Agency’s Teen Parent Education Program as Valedictorian, without a parent, aunt, uncle, cousin or sibling to support me. I knew right away I wanted to attend college and I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. I wanted to be someone who could support children. To make them feel special and to teach them that they can be anything they want and do anything they want with their lives. I wanted to be there for them like the teachers at Good Sam’s were for me. But I want to catch it early – I don’t want any child to question their amount of greatness. I want to plant a tiny seed in a child’s mind and watch it grow into a strong, beautiful tree. I want to give them all what I never had – direction, intention, drive, dedication, hope, and grit. Momentum.
I was accepted into the University of Maine and maintained good grades, two jobs, and single motherhood for almost three semesters. But maintaining that amount of work can often times seem completely impossible and once you get behind you feel so overwhelmed-it’s hard to know where to start. But as I have discovered, once you begin working towards something, with direction and intention, drive, dedication, and grit, your path becomes more clear. It becomes attainable. Once you can see yourself accomplishing your goal, you are only steps away – you realize that you can do it! You see, there’s this thing called momentum, which can be so strong that it pushes you in a direction without your permission.
But in life you need things; direction, intention, drive, dedication, hope and pure grit. You need these things to create your momentum or change your momentum, to push through, to get through, to create your own path. They talk about momentum in sports. You see it, you know how strong and talented an athlete or team is, but no matter how hard they are working nothing seems to go their way. The announcers talk about the athlete or team’s momentum, how they have to turn it around create momentum in their direction. But it just seems impossible. However, if you have momentum going your way, it often appears as though no matter the little – or sometimes sizeable – bumps you hit, as long as you are working hard you keep moving forward toward your goal.
As I got older and gained more experience I reflected on myself and where my life was headed. I decided I needed to work on my emotional self before I could completely move on, for I had gained many internal scars in my years. I worked to get back together with my son’s father and strive for a strong relationship and a strong family. We have worked hard and supported each other in our endeavors. He is my best friend, my companion, and he has helped me to become the successful person I am today.
So, after taking a break from my education for a few years, working in customer service and sales, and working on my family life, I realized I wanted more. So I reapplied to the University of Maine and was accepted with academic probation. But this time was different, this time something was burning inside of me, and I knew I could do well if I worked hard, if I didn’t give up. So for the next 3 ½ years, while my partner was building his business, I attended classes alone, I attended classes with my son in tote and sometimes I didn’t attend classes due to stomach flus, doctors’ visits, or school functions. I lived on about $10,000.00 a year, which were student loans and I’ll be paying them off forever, with interest! So I had to ask for help, accept hand outs, and constantly feel as though I was worthless, that maybe I couldn’t do it. Nights away with friends and boyfriends weren’t an option, dinning out on the weekends were a couple of times a year thing, and we didn’t spend carelessly. I worked hard, and it was noticed. I started seeing academic success and I became hungry for more. I was pushing myself harder and harder. My momentum was gaining. I could see it – I could see myself earning a college diploma. I graduated from the University of Maine in December of 2009 with two degrees in Education. The following summer I was hired by the Bangor School District as a classroom teacher at Downeast Elementary School, the same school I attended most of my third grade year.
Although I felt very proud of myself and as though I was becoming successful in life, it wasn’t until my son named me his hero for an eighth grade Literacy assignment that I knew I had found success. That was the moment when I knew that all of my sacrifices, hard work, and dedication were worth it all. For all the super heroes, pro athletes, celebrities, musicians, and politicians that could be a 14 year olds’ hero, and he picked me, his mom. The hard times, the embarrassing times, the painful times, and the times I forced myself out of bed to face what the day had to offer. It was worth it – and I have met success. My path has been created and now I can point it in any direction I’d like to go. My life is what I make it and my childhood does not define who I am today.
So, my message to you today is this. Momentum is all around us. We can either let it push us around or we can take charge of it. But to take charge of your momentum you will need courage. You will need direction and intention. You will need drive, dedication, and hope. You’ll need GRIT, pure and simple.
So congratulations today and may the fire in you burn brightly, giving you the fight to continue on YOUR path.
The Good Samaritan Agency is a wonderfully well-managed, comfortable organization with a dedicated, knowledgeable, warm and friendly staff that is compassionate to the many reasons why people choose to adopt. The adoption process can be confusing, but our case manager, Liz, thoroughly walked us through every step of the way until, and even after, we held our tiny baby in our arms. Although miles away from where we live, we chose Good Sam because of the team of people who work there and because of the support and outreach they provide to the community through their many programs. We look forward to our next adoption with them!
While we encourage everyone to shop locally, if you are shopping online this holiday season, please consider shopping on Amazon and selecting us as your charity of choice!!